Are you a frantic family? Do you sometimes wonder if have you have over-scheduled your kids?
Now that we are a couple of months into school, there continues to be a multitude of extra-curricular opportunities for our kids to get involved in. Even your preschoolers have more opportunities than ever before! In his book called Putting Families First, Dr. William Doherty states:
“In the past twenty years, children’s free time has declined by twelve hours a week, time spent on structured sports activities has doubled, family dinners are down by a third, and the number of families taking vacations together has decreased by 28 percent.”
(This book was published in 2002, so you can imagine the statistics for family connections these days!)
To help you decide if your family is over-scheduled, agree or disagree with the statements below and give yourself one point for each statement you agree with.
We struggle to find time for unhurried family meals.
I think we spend too much time getting to and from our children’s activities.
Homework can be difficult to squeeze into the children’s schedules.
My kids don’t have enough time to hang out and entertain themselves.
I wish we spent more time home as a family.
It is hard to visit relatives and family friends because we are so busy.
We don’t go on family trips and outings as much as we would like.
Even on weekends, it can be hard to get the whole family together because of everyone’s schedules.
Then, add up your points: If your total is 6-8, you are probably a seriously frantic family. If your total is 3-5, you are probably a somewhat frantic family. If your total is 0-2, CONGRATULATIONS, and please teach the rest of us how to do it!
If you are a “seriously” or a “even somewhat” frantic family, don’t worry! Now you are aware (or you might have already known), and you have the chance to make positive lasting changes in your family’s life. Simply begin by slowing down and connecting with your family again. You will be guaranteed a happier, healthier family!
Here are a few ideas on how to start:
Family meals – if dinner is too hard, make it breakfast!
Family Game nights – play board games, charades…anything that your family finds fun!
Intentional bedtime routines – read a book together, sing, pray…again, it doesn’t really matter what you do; just be consistent!
Family walks, bike rides – go to neighborhood park or a local trail.
At Bridges of Hope, we work every day to help families achieve balance in their lives among work, family, and activities. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your kids is to not “do” anything.
How you can help families in the Lakes area:
Learn more about what we do to help families: check out our website.
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